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History of Lasers

Laser Surgery for Eyes - Excimer Laser

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History of Lasers

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Introduction - History of Lasers

Doctor Steven Trokel patented the Excimer laser for vision correction. The Excimer laser was originally used for etching silicone computer chips in the 1970s. Working in the IBM research laboratories in 1982, Rangaswamy Srinivasin, James Wynne, and Samuel Blum saw the potential of the Excimer laser in interacting with biological tissue. Srinivasin and the IBM team realized that you could remove tissue with a laser without causing any heat damage to the neighboring material.

Steven Trokel

New York City ophthalmologist, Steven Trokel made the connection to the cornea and performed the first laser surgery on a patient's eyes in 1987. The next ten years were spent perfecting the equipment and the techniques used in laser eye surgery. In 1996, the first Excimer laser for ophthalmic refractive use was approved in the United States.

Note: It took the observations of Dr. Fyodorov in a case of eye trauma in the 1970's to bring about the practical application of refractive surgery through radial keratotomy.

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